The New Mexico Agroguard program was officially announced December 2, 2005 at the opening general session of the Joint Stockmen’s meeting in Albuquerque. Representatives of all the sponsors were in attendance at the announcement.
Agroguard Community Policing Program
Agroguard is a statewide community policing program similar to the “neighborhood watch program” for the agricultural industry. It is a partnership between front line industry personnel and local law enforcement. Through a $30,000 state contract with NM homeland security citizen corp. we will be distributing several thousand signs, window decals, vehicle decals, and pamphlets to the agricultural industry in New Mexico. The materials should be ready for distribution in February and will be available at Extension Offices and other locations around the state. Several county 4-H organizations plan to assist in the delivery of the signs as a community service project. Suspicious activity can be reported to a 24 hour New Mexico State Police number which rings in Alamogordo. The number is 1-888-442-NMSP(6677).
The $250,000 training program contract that we have with New Mexico homeland security will be included under the overall umbrella of New Mexico Agro Guard for marketing purposes. There will be a concentrated training effort during the coming year with producers, processors, agribusinesses, law enforcement, fire fighters, governmental officials, emergency managers, as well as Extension, NMDA, and Livestock Board. The property signs, vehicle decals, and other material will look very much like the attachments.
- is a comprehensive statewide community awareness program sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics, New Mexico Livestock Board, New Mexico Department of Public Safety, New Mexico Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, Citizen Corp program, and the New Mexico Sheriffs and Police Association with the ultimate goal to enhance a partnership between law enforcement and the agriculture industry.
- will serve as the organizing effort to establish comprehensive training, planning and prevention methods to assist first responders and first detectors in the most appropriate methods to manage risk and give stakeholders the ability to be an active partner in protecting the nations food supply.
- will focus on prevention in order to protect the agriculture industry and the economy of New Mexico and the nation. The annual economic impact is $1.5 trillion nationally and $2.3 billion locally.
- will facilitate an aggressive response to all reports of suspicious activity around food chain facilities—from farms, ranches, and feed yards; chemical storage facilities; and meat processing facilities. This includes thefts of medicines, vaccines, and any livestock-related equipment.
- will rely on the eyes and ears of industry linked to aggressive law enforcement to be the most cost-effective measure for securing this soft target (agriculture). The value of deterrents cannot be overstated. Employees who are first and foremost safe in their actions, observant, seen and heard by visitors, and vigilant in closing gates and locking doors provide a great level of protection.
- will facilitate the mitigation of economic impacts by aiding in a quickened response from the first detectors. It is well documented that for every minute in response that passes in the event of a biological or other disaster, the impact to the economy quickly rises to the millions of dollars.